The Society of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners (SPMDP) in the country have threatened to discontinue their services to National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card holders if the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) does not refund money due its members within six weeks.
The group, in a communiqué delivered at a press conference in Accra said, “We resolve not to continue to offer services to NHIA card holders as from 1st May, 2015 if all outstanding remunerations are not paid by 30th April, 2015.”
Dr Kwesi Odoi-Agyarko, president of SPMDP, reading the communiqué said, “The private health sector has not been paid by the NHIA from August 2014 up to now and we cannot continue to provide for unpaid services.”
Dr Odoi-Agyarko, therefore, appealed to the over 300 members of the society to comply with the directive which is the last resort to retrieve their money.
He said per the estimates of the society, about 55 percent of Ghanaians patronise the private medical services, hence the need for all stakeholders to advocate on their behalf to get paid by the NHIA.
He, however, suggested that the co-payment of system insurance should be introduced, saying that clients are prepared to contribute a little for competent and appropriate health service.
With issues of capitation, he was optimistic it could be improved although it proved unpopular and sometimes disastrous for physicians.
“Engaging in capitation arrangements can be challenging, but only few physician practices have been successfully participating in capitated contracts,” he said.
Dr Odoi-Agyarko mentioned that the private sector is not happy with the way the capitation is being implemented, hence the NHIA should withdraw the capitation and repackage it with realistic stakeholder participation.
In his concluding remarks, he quoted Abdullaah Ibn’ Umar narration of what the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said in the Quran, “Pay the labourer his wages before his sweat dries” and the Bible in Leviticus 19:13, “You shall not oppress your neighbour, nor rob him, the wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning.”
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri & Angela Dzidzornu